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It’s estimated around 2% of the UK population have been diagnosed with an under-functioning thyroid 1. However, there are likely to be many more people than this unaware that their thyroid isn’t working as well as it should.
Your thyroid controls the functioning of every single cell in your body. So, problems with your thyroid can potentially affect any of your cells and organs. The symptoms of thyroid issues can therefore be widespread and vague. They’re often confused with other conditions or simply put down to stress and overwork.
Read on to learn how you can spot the symptoms connected with a struggling thyroid.
Let’s first of all have a quick look at thyroid’s many tasks. The gland sits in your neck and produces a hormone called thyroxine. This controls the rate fuel is burned and energy is produced in your cells.
If your thyroid is not doing its job properly, and there aren’t enough thyroid hormones to go around, chemical reactions in your body will slow down. It’s almost like your body is running on empty. This is known as hypothyroid.
On the other hand, if your thyroid is revved up too high, your body’s accelerator pedal will be constantly pressed. This is called hyperthyroid.
Let’s now have a look at some of the symptoms you might experience if your thyroid isn’t working well.
Although the symptoms of an overactive and an underactive thyroid can cross over, an overactive thyroid causes your metabolic rate to run too quickly.
Both under and overactive thyroid issues can lead to a swelling in your throat known as a goitre. This is a sign your thyroid is trying to trap more iodine to keep up with demand.
Often, symptoms of thyroid issues come on slowly so you might not notice them at first.
Are you ticking some of the boxes above?
Have you consulted your GP and been sent for a blood test which has come back normal?
The reason for this can be simple. In some cases, regular blood tests simply aren’t sensitive enough. Your thyroid may be struggling but your condition isn’t severe enough to show up on a regular blood test – yet you still feel terrible. There are also some more subtle imbalances in thyroid hormones, and these can’t be detected in a regular GP’s test. For example, such tests won’t routinely pick up how well your body’s cells are able to use thyroid hormones, or whether your body is producing antibodies to your thyroid, interfering with its function.
Functional tests to examine how your body is processing thyroxine, and those able to detect antibodies give far more meaningful results.
Your therapist will first of all record a detailed history of your symptoms and very importantly will take time to listen to you. If your symptoms suggest your thyroid is not functioning optimally, an appropriate test will be recommended to reveal what’s going wrong with your thyroid gland.
Once the causes of your ill health have been discovered, natural strategies like thyroid-supporting nutrients and thyroid-friendly lifestyle measures can be employed to put them right.
Are you concerned about your thyroid health? Then book a free 15-minute discovery call to see if Functional Medicine is for you.
Please enter your details below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
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